Dr Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German physician, developed homeopathy in the 18th century. It is a therapeutic medical approach based on the principle “Similia Similibus Curentur,” which means “Like cures like”. It not only treats patients comprehensively but also takes into account the individual’s unique features. This age-old science has gone through many tests and has evolved drastically. To get to know about this evolution and the current status of homeopathy, we will discuss in this article how this medical system has grown and made its mark today.
How Did Homeopathy Begin in India?
Homeopathy was introduced to India by German evangelists and medics who began dispensing homeopathic medications to locals. Homeopathy commenced in India around 1839, and the person behind this was Dr. John Martin Honigberger, who effectively cured Maharaja Ranjit Singh of vocal cord paralysis. Dr. Honigberger relocated to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and gained a reputation as a Cholera specialist. Subsequently, Dr. M.L. Sirkar, a well-known physician at the time, began practising homeopathy as well. In 1868, he was the one who edited the very first homeopathic journal, the ‘Calcutta Journal of Medicine.’ There were many well-known physicians, like Dr. P.C. Mujumdar and Dr. D. N. Roy, who founded the first Homeopathic Medical College in Calcutta in 1881. Many people, including Dr. Lahiri, Dr. B. K. Sarkar, and others, toiled hard to promote Homeopathy as a discipline in India. They are well-known not just in West Bengal, but throughout India, for their contributions to the development of homeopathy.
Initial Recognition of Homeopathy in India
Following successful testing of this treatment on a wide range of people, especially older people, the proportion of hobbyist homeopathic therapists had increased significantly, a majority of whom had petitioned the government to recognize homeopathy. Certainly, there were many hurdles in this path, but finally, the government cleared the way for Homeopathy’s official arrival in the country as addressed in the Central Legislative Assembly in 1937. In the year 1948, the same Assembly passed another decision on homeopathy, which was followed by the establishment of the Homeopathic Enquiry Committee. This was a celebrated milestone for Homeopathy.
The Homeopathic Enquiry Committee’s report in 1949, advocates the formation of a Central Homeopathic Council. As a response, an Ad Hoc Homeopathic Committee was established in 1952 to inform the board on all matters pertaining to homeopathy , including homeopathic education, homeopathic research, regulatory oversight of practice, pharmacopeia, rural medical aid, drug manufacture, family planning, financial aid to homeopathic colleges, dispensaries, hospitals, and cooperation with the International Homeopathic Medical League. The Homeopathy Central Council Act is the act that regulates homeopathic study and practice in the country, was passed by Parliament in 1973.
How Does The Indian Government Support Homeopathy in India?
We can thus see that Homeopathy, which was first administered in India over two hundred years ago, is an essential part of the country’s diverse healthcare system. The Indian government has made consistent attempts to promote Homeopathy and other conventional healthcare systems such as Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Sowa Rigpa (known by the acronym AYUSH). This especially promotes good health among the older generation. Owing to the government’s persistent efforts, a homeopathic institutional framework has been successfully built at the national level and in all states. There is a remarkable facility consisting of 195 undergraduate and 43 postgraduate homeopathic medical institutions, as well as an independent research committee with 22 institutes and units, 2,83,840 registered homeopathic therapists, and drug safety rules with 403 drug production plants.
AYUSH services are now well-integrated into the nation’s healthcare system of primary, secondary, and tertiary care. The Indian government has a variety of programs and strategies in place to promote AYUSH systems and expand the national healthcare network in the country. The guidelines ensure the highest care is provided, while medical pluralism allows patients to choose their own therapy.
Homeopathy is now offered by 235 hospitals and 8117 dispensaries operated by local and state governments, the Central Government Health Scheme, the labour ministry, and the railway ministry. The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) was developed by the Indian government to remedy architectural flaws in the country’s fundamental healthcare system. The NRHM has a mission to mainline Indian traditions of medicine and homeopathy to make health services more accessible. In 2015, AYUSH facilities were co-located in 512 district hospitals, 2739 community clinics, and 9112 primary health care centers under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). On July 25, 2015, Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, launched the “AYUSH Wellness Centre” at the President’s Estate in New Delhi.
Why Do So Many Indian Seniors Like Homeopathy?
For the past couple of decades, the Indian government has been persistently focused on improving service quality, including education, research & medication development, and healthcare delivery. This is because the treatment is growingly resonating with the senior population of the country.
The future seems brighter with a dedicated Ministry of AYUSH. India is at the forefront of Homeopathy, in terms of infrastructure, research, the number of professionals, pharmaceutical companies, and even the number of people who use homeopathy. In reality, India attracts many notable researchers and practitioners globally for collaborative studies and treatment initiatives. India is also assisting its bordering countries in adopting our homeopathic course content, therapeutic implementation strategy, or studying via our conventions. However, there is a significant amount of responsibility. Every component of homeopathy, including education, infrastructure, research, and medicine production, needs more rigour.
Under the government’s support, homeopathy is playing a significant role in changing India’s healthcare predicament. Some researches even suggest that Homeopathy has significantly reduced the death rate of seniors in India. Wherever possible, homeopathy services are fully utilized, hence assisting in the distribution of patient load in healthcare facilities. However, the establishment of homeopathic facilities in CGHS centers is moving at a snail’s pace, failing to keep up with the increasing demand for Homeopathy among the general Indian public.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Not at all. As even the disease is removed from its origins, homeopathic medications function quickly and have a long-lasting effect. The length of time it takes to feel better is determined by the severity of the sickness.
As homeopathic medications are assimilated through the tongue and the inside lining of the mouth, patients are advised to wait for 15 minutes before eating or drinking anything and while taking the medicine. Raw onion, raw garlic, strong coffee, and mint should also be avoided because they may act as an antibody to part of the drug. These are the only dietary limitations.